Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An Announcement Regarding My Internet Use During Lent

"Thumbs down" or "thumbs up" -- which will it be for me?

I have made an important decision regarding the use of the internet during this coming Lent. It regards what I need to do in order to prepare myself to celebrate the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus.

I have decided that I'm going to give more time to my friends through social media and the internet.

That is not a typo. It means what it says: through social media (or "on" social media, or whatever). Another way of putting it might be "to focus on the human person who is always and in every way the point of communications media."

To focus on "the person" means to focus on you. It means to give, concretely, more time to interacting with you and "listening" to you, while ignoring all that other stuff that wastes time.

I waste too much time reading things I don't need to read about things I don't need to know. I really want to work on that in the "desert" of these upcoming 40 days.

But I don't want to give you up for Lent.

If I didn't think there was real communication with real people going on in all of these various forms of interactive media, I would be GONE... and not just during Lent.

I understand that it helps some people to take "a break" from Facebook, Twitter, or whatever. I take my share of breaks. If this helps certain people for Lent, I don't want to discourage them. But personally I want to focus on an effort to be more human on what Benedict and Francis have called "the digital continent."

This is a work that requires effort, attention, and sacrifice. And it is a work that must be done.

Because if there is nothing human here, if the internet is just an escape, a diversion, a mode of self-indulgence and delusion, then we should totally BURN THIS SUCKER TO THE GROUND. I'm serious!

But I think "real life" and "real people" are the point of what we do online. However much I may fail, however incoherent I may be, my desire is to be here for the real persons who are searching for truth and love and for some way to be together.

I pray for the grace to focus on this reality, and be faithful to it.